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ISO/IEC 27001 outlines the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an organization’s information security management system (ISMS). It is an internationally accepted standard and is a valuable way to differentiate your organization as it demonstrates compliance with industry standards and your commitment to keeping information secure.

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Certification Process

The following certification activities are performed as part of the ISO/IEC 27001 Information Management System (ISMS) certification:

Pre-certification Process

New application requests for certification services can be sent through our contact us page. Hancock Askew & Co., LLP will then conduct a client evaluation. As part of the process, the client will provide information pertaining to the ISMS scope, boundaries of the system, and other relevant documentation in order to determine fee arrangements and resourcing needs. This includes information about the approximate number of people, infrastructure, software components, key activities and data, and locations (physical and virtual) of the ISMS. If available a Statement of applicability and other ISMS scoping documentation are helpful in completing this process. 

Initial Certification Audit

The initial certification audit is conducted in two stages as follows:

Stage 1 Audit

An evaluation is performed in several steps of the management system and documentation with a primary focus on the design of the system. First, Hancock Askew & Co., LLP will audit the ISMS documentation. Second, an evaluation of the ISMS scope including personnel, services/products, and sites included within the scope. Third, the auditor verifies that the organization has completed an internal audit, management review, and accepted risk registry and treatment. Finally, the organization’s understanding of the standard, including the scope of the audit and resources will be evaluated. Much of the information reviewed during stage 1 will help in the planning for stage 2.

Stage 2 Audit

The second stage of the initial certification involves detailed testing to determine if the organization has effectively implemented and is consistently monitoring its ISMS in accordance with ISO/IEC 27001. This stage is performed onsite with the organization’s process owners at its various locations as detailed in the audit plan. Hancock Askew & Co., LLP will then determine if it will issue certification to the client.

Certification Decision Process

Hancock Askew & Co., LLP is responsible for and will retain authority for its decision relating to certification, including the granting, refusing, maintaining, renewing, suspending, restoring, or withdrawing of certification. The client is responsible for maintaining compliance with ISO/IEC 27001 requirements during the period of certification. Following the confirmation of the successful remediation of necessary corrective actions, the findings and recommendations made in the audit report will be reviewed and considered for certification will be conducted. If the organization’s ISMS is approved for certification, Hancock Askew & Co., LLP will issue an ISO/IEC 27001 certification / or scope of certification, which is valid for three years from the issuance date and subject to the successful completion of annual surveillance audits. Based on the results of surveillance audits or other circumstances, Hancock Askew & Co., LLP holds the right to suspend, withdraw, or reduce the scope of the certification. Refusal of certification could occur due to the client’s non-compliance with a number of factors including Hancock Askew & Co., LLP’s terms and agreements. Detailed information and documentation outlining terms and conditions will be provided upon completion of the certification process. All decisions will be communicated to the organization in writing detailing the grounds for refusal of certification. When a client’s certification is suspended, refused, or withdrawn the client must cease the use of the certification mark or any promotional material that advertises the fact that the client is certified. 

Surveillance Audit

Surveillance audits are conducted annually and are required in order to help ensure the certified organization is able to maintain its compliance with the standard. As part of this process, limited testing and an onsite review will be conducted to determine the impact of any significant changes since the original certification and that the initial certification scope remains valid. 


Before the certificate expires, arrangements for recertification are planned. Recertification activities include a full audit of the ISMS.

Notice of changes

If during the 3-year certification cycle there are changes in the scope of the certification or changes to requirements, this will be discussed with the Hancock Askew & Co., LLP certification team. 


Information about a particular certified client shall not be disclosed to a third party without the written consent of the certified client except as required in ISO/IEC 17021. 

Independence and Impartiality

Hancock Askew & Co., LLP is committed to maintaining professionalism in our organization and our clients. As such Hancock Askew & Co., LLP is impartial, intellectually honest, and free of conflicts of interest. This policy helps ensure commitments to independence, impartiality, and objectivity of its management systems certification activities. 

Our stated impartiality policy clearly identifies and assesses all relationships that may result in a conflict of interest or may pose a threat to impartiality. The policy helps ensure that our personnel are, and will remain, impartial in our certification activities. 

Hancock Askew & Co., LLP will not provide advisory or management systems consulting services to assist in the design, selection, or implementation of controls or internal audit services used to meet the ISO/IEC 27001 requirements. This requirement does not prevent Hancock Askew & Co., LLP from performing ISO/IEC 27001 pre-audit assessment services. 

Client Directory

Hancock Askew & Co., LLP maintains a Client Directory containing the current status of all client certifications.  To inquire about a certification, contact us here.


Clients can appeal an application, certification, or other decisions taken by Hancock Askew & Co., LLP. The appeal must be submitted by requesting and completing an appeals document which will be provided by Hancock Askew & Co., LLP via email. Acknowledgment of receipt of the appeal will be conveyed by Hancock Askew & Co., LLP and the client will be notified of the status of the appeal. Hancock Askew & Co., LLP personnel involved in the certification activity will not be involved in the matter of the appeal. Hancock Askew & Co., LLP will ensure the investigation, and decision on an appeal submitted does not result in any discriminatory action taken against the client and will give formal notice to the appellant at the end of the process.

Once a decision has been made regarding the appeal, no counterclaims can be made by either party to change the decision unless additional supporting documentation is provided. Hancock Askew & Co., LLP will consider the results of historical cases when similar appeals are received. If an appeal is successful and certification is insured or reinstated, claims cannot be made against Hancock Askew & Co., LLP for reimbursement of costs associated with the withholding, suspension, or withdrawal notification. 

To file an appeal, please fill out this form here. 


Hancock Askew & Co., LLP shall acknowledge the receipt of any complaint and will provide the client with the progress of its resolution. The decision, formally communicated at the end of the complaint-handling process, will be communicated by individuals not previously involved in the subject or the complaint. Prior to disclosing any complaints against Hancock Askew & Co., LLP or its clients, both parties will collectively discuss such matters unless disclosure is required by law.

To file a confidential complaint, please fill out this form here.

Maintaining Certification

Hancock Askew & Co., LLP clients are responsible for maintaining the certified ISMS. If the client fails to complete the surveillance audits or recertification activities or fails to remediate major non-conformities within the specified time frame, Hancock Askew & Co., LLP will initiate certification suspension procedures. Suspension status will be communicated to the client, and the client will have six months from the audit to remediate the issues, after which certification may be restored. If remediation is not completed, Hancock Askew & Co., LLP will determine if certification should be withdrawn, or the scope of certification reduced. The client should contact Hancock Askew & Co., LLP upon reduction or expansion of the ISMS scope to initiate the scope review process. 


If a client fails to maintain compliance with certification conditions, Hancock Askew & Co., LLP reserves the right to suspend certification. During a suspension period, certification is invalid, and these periods are reflected in the status field within our client directory. 

Use of Hancock Askew & Co., LLP name and certification mark or logo

Rules for the use of the Hancock Askew & Co., LLP name and logo are documented within the terms and conditions section of our client agreement and within documentation given to clients upon successful certification. We closely monitor the use of our name and logo to ensure compliance with standards governing us as a certification body. Complaints against Hancock Askew & Co., LLP or our clients are not made public unless required by law. Certified clients may use our certification mark subject to the following conditions:

  1. The certification mark may be used on correspondence, advertising, and promotional material in conjunction with the certified client’s name, and shall not be used in connection with services, activities, or locations not covered by the scope of certification;
  2. The certification mark shall not be used on a product nor product packaging nor in any other way that may be interpreted as denoting product conformity;
  3. The certification mark shall not be altered, including both style and colors;
  4. Upon termination of certification, the certified client shall immediately discontinue the use of the mark. Use of the marks is not to be reinitiated unless certification is fully reinstated.

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